Easy Ways to Build an Environmentally Sustainable Insurance Agency
The Millennial and Gen Z generations are more likely to do business with a company that shows concern for the environment. According to a recent survey, 75% of GenZ and 71% of Millennials say they prefer to buy sustainably rather than to go for brand names. In fact, the same survey found that 28% of respondents had abandoned certain brands within the past year after discovering sustainability or ethical concerns with the company.
And these attitudes don’t just exist in consumer behavior. In a different survey, millennials reported making career decisions based on the sustainability of the company. So, what changes can you make in your insurance agency to improve sustainability and attract the buying power of these environmentally conscious younger generations?
As an industry leader in financial statement outsourcing, PrintMail was an early provider of eStatement services to help our customers cut costs and their carbon footprint. We created this guide to help you build an environmentally sustainable insurance agency. Keep reading for easy steps you can take action on now.
Employee-Level Sustainability Efforts
From cybersecurity to sustainability, changing your company’s habits or culture will only be as effective as the knowledge and buy-in of your employees. So, our first section of tips will focus on the individual practices your employees can adopt to advance a company-wide green initiative. Individuals making small changes together as a group can make a bigger positive impact than you may think when taken as a whole.
- Give out reusable coffee thermoses, water bottles, and lunch bags for employees to use at work. Invest in high-quality items they’ll actually want to use to avoid contributing to the landfill.
- Stop stocking the break room with single-use items to encourage employees to use reusable silverware, plates, cups, etc.
- Ditch the Keurig for a coffeemaker that doesn’t rely on single-use pods.
- Provide recycling bins not just for paper but also cans and glass or plastic bottles.
- Switch to LED lighting or, better yet, encourage employees to leave the lights off when not needed, such as in the bathroom or an office with windows while the sun is out.
- Put a “Green Reminder” not to print in your email signature.
- Better yet, send fewer emails. Everyone gets overwhelmed by email and it also has a carbon footprint, especially with large attachments.
- Develop the habit of shutting down your computer each day and not leaving things plugged in, such as charger cables, when not in use.
- Offer incentives for employees who walk, bike, or take public transit to work.
- Hang a poster about food waste on the break room refrigerator to encourage employees to eat what they bring and not leave food to rot in the company fridge. Better yet–this could reduce the need for those scolding, Friday Fridge Cleanout Day emails.
- Install a compost bin for banana peels, apple cores, and other organic waste.
- Start a company garden where employees can help grow veggies to share at work.
- Encourage employees to opt for electronic delivery of pay stubs, tax documents, and other company statements.
Top-Level Company Sustainability Efforts
After building enthusiasm among your employees for these new environmentally-focused initiative, you can turn your attention to companywide changes. These steps may require more effort than employee-level tasks, but they should also produce a bigger return and have a positive impact on your bottom line.
If possible, allow employees to telecommute at least one or two days a week to reduce the carbon footprint of commuting, using single-use plastics, etc. Remote work arrangements can also save your business money on office supplies, electricity, and more. Perhaps you’ll find you don’t need as much space as you have now. Moving to a smaller space can reduce costs as well as your office’s carbon footprint.
Reduce your business’s consumption of paper products. From reducing how much gets printed, to replacing paper towel dispensers with hand dryers in the bathroom, you can save some trees–and some cents.
Clean Up Company Internet Habits
While digital files and messages help reduce paper consumption, there is still an energy cost to using the Internet. Namely, the electricity that powers your devices, wireless network, and the data centers and servers that keep all our online activity running.
You can try to switch your energy source to a more renewable option, but you can also encourage employees to clean up their online habits. Does that email really need to be sent? Can you skip the on-line “thank you” in response? What about chat platforms like Teams or Slack? You don’t have to be draconian and eliminate everything, which wouldn’t be practical, but you can ask employees to be mindful about sending fewer messages. And when it comes to online browsing, perhaps encourage a brief walk or other break from their desk instead of watching a YouTube video or otherwise “zoning out.” A physical break from work will be more satisfying and renewing anyway.
Go Green With Cleaning
Depending on the size of your insurance agency, you may keep the office clean on your own or hire a cleaning company to come through. If you clean on your own, you can green this part of office life by purchasing natural or organic cleaning products and avoiding single-use items such as Swiffers, paper towels, etc. If you hire a cleaning company, you could learn more about their methods and potentially switch to a “cleaner” crew.
Encourage Customers To Go Paperless
Offer your customers an electronic statement option from PrintMail. The cost savings from printing fewer paper statements will be beneficial to your bottom line and eStatements also provide more convenience to customers, who can enjoy paperless delivery of important documents to their email inboxes and log into an online account anytime to review previous statements.
Local Community-Level Sustainability Efforts
Being active in your community is always a good idea for a local insurance company. Having your name associated with positive events will increase brand awareness and perception.
- Have each office organize a park clean-up day in the town they are based. Involve other local organizations to help recruit volunteers.
- Donate to a Tree Planting Charity or, even better, donate the trees to be placed at a local elementary school and let the kids do the hard work for you.
- Support a “Shop Local” initiative. Not only will this have environmental benefits, but it can also result in a stronger local economy that could positively affect your company’s business.
- Consider using social media to build awareness of your events and to document the results of your hard work.
Take the first step to greater sustainability today!
Being environmentally friendly is not nearly as difficult or expensive as you may think. What effort is required will pay off in helping you attract new clients and employees. Nobody expects a small insurance agency to build a huge solar farm and add electric car chargers to their parking lot. Taking small steps can add up to greater sustainability. Plus, helping make your local community a better place to live will boost your agency’s credibility.
Ready to increase eStatement adoption at your insurance agency? Contact us for a demo and estimate of your cost savings, or learn more about how we can help your insurance agency manage customer communications.